Like most drivers my age, I really don’t have much business looking around at new cars right now. I’ve got a pile of student loans built up and am working to chisel away at them as quickly as possible.

But it can be really difficult to compare my aging Hyundai Accent to all of the new vehicles I see each and every day. For the longest time, I told myself just to ignore it and be content that for the most part,  my car still gets me from home to work and back reliably, because I thought I just could not afford a new car.

The 2013 Chevy SparkThen I saw the Chevy Spark and rethought my position a little. Why was it I couldn’t afford a new car? Just because “new” means expensive and with college only just behind me, I can’t really justify any big expenses? Well, my epiphany regarding the Spark happened just after getting my trooper of an Accent back from the shop after an unexpected repair sidelined it for a while.

Getting a new vehicle means the incredible unlikelihood of any car troubles, and when you do have issues, you’ll have warranty coverage. So in exchange for spending a bit more money, you get consistent reliability. And, when I saw the sticker price on the Spark, I committed myself to bringing one home.

Priced at just $12,245, the Spark can be pretty easily financed while still juggling student loans. Adding in the savings from the improved fuel economy, it became clear that the Spark was worth the investment.

I’ll have to decide just how attractive feature like Chevy MyLink and other bells and whistles are to me, but I think it’s only a matter of time before I’m choosing a hue from the rainbow of colors available to Spark drivers and leaving my Accent behind.

I’ve got plenty of friends in similar situations, many of them still driving the cars they had in high school. If you know anyone fresh out of college that is struggling with their old car, point them to the Spark; it has features that are geared toward the millennial generation and is easily affordable, even with student loans.